Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Maybe God is Like That Too

Photo by Colby Abazs
Time Required: 
45 minutes
Age Range: 
Elementary (ages 6-11)
Experience Level: 
Newcomer Friendly
Modality: 
Reading
Credits: 

This lesson is based on material that was previously published in Sparkling Still (2012: QuakerPress) and is used with permission.   

Instructions: 

Welcome the children to the circle.  Be sure to introduce everyone, if visitors are present.

Invite children and adults to go around the circle sharing one or two plusses and minuses from their day or week. It helps to ask for 2 items only, either 2 of one or one of each.  Children are comfortable with a limit, unless another person’s comment sparks another one for an individual child.

Sing a centering song, such as “God’s Love is a Light,” hymn #218, Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal, and/or one of the songs suggested in Materials Tab.  In addition, or instead of, use breathing or other exercise to center the group.  The simplest way is to breathe deeply three times.  Adding lifting arms up and down with the breath or holding tummy during deep breaths can help.

Show the cover of the book, read the title and author’s name. Ask the children a question that invites them to wonder about the story.

“Do you wonder where God is? Do you wonder if you can see God? Do you wonder if God hears what you say?...  The child in this story does. Let’s see what happens.”

Read the story, holding the book so all can see.  Depending on reader’s comfort level with the children, allow comments during the story, especially from younger children.

After reading the story, invite the children to wonder about the story with you. 

Wondering Questions

    I wonder if you've ever seen God?

    I wonder what God looks like to you?

    I wonder what it’s like to be God’s friend?

    I wonder if you ever talk to God?

    I wonder how you can talk to God?

    I wonder how you can listen to God?

    I wonder what you liked in the story today?

After the children have finished wondering and are ready to go to the next activity, introduce the option for individual reflective art response or a teacher-directed activity:  Body Prayer and/or making Gratitude Chains.

Individual Art Response

Children choose from a collection of attractive art supplies and work individually for about 15 minutes to create something of importance to the child.  It may or may not be a direct reflection on the story they just heard and wondered about. 

Body Prayer

Body Prayer is an all-inclusive way to pray that would appeal to young children. They may want to add to the motions that are meaningful to them and their prayer. Perhaps the children would like to teach the Body Prayer to the adults of the Meeting.

Gratitude Paper Chain

Provide 3” x 11” strips of paper. Have helpers or children write or color what they are grateful for. Loop strips together to form a Gratitude Chain.

Closing

Provide a 5-minute warning before the children need to clean up.  After clean up, gather the children in a circle and ask them to name one thing for which they are grateful.  Sing songs while waiting for their parents to pick them up, or before joining the adults after the rise of Meeting for Worship.

If the children join their loved ones while Meeting for Worship is still in progress, before you lead them back to the meeting room, invite them to remember how they still themselves and some things about the morning that they may want to think about during the final moments of Meeting for Worship.

Hand out the Take Home Notes, if using, and the Body Prayer handout, as parents pick up the children in the First Day School room, or after the rise of Meeting for Worship, if joining loved ones in worship.

Buy the book at FGC's QuakerBooks.

This lesson uses the book, Maybe God is Like That Too, by Jennifer Grant, which offers simple everyday examples that children can recognize to guide them in developing a personal and direct relationship with God. It answers the question, “Where is God?”
Reading List: 

Sparkling Still provides tools for teachers of children ages 3-12. Included are sample lessons, a master lesson plan, ideas for building classroom community, an introduction to wondering questions and more.

Sparkling Still provides more details instructions on:

  • Creating the circle and other components of your time together: pages 5-22
  • Reading out loud with children: pages 16-17
  • Wondering with children and adults: pages vii-xi and 6-7
  • Individual Art Responses: page 7
  • Art Supplies: pages 20-22

Thanks to NEYM Religious Education Coordinator, Beth Collea, for Body Prayer.

Materials & Setup: 

Book: Maybe God is Like That Too by Jennifer Grant


Suggestions for reading for teacher spiritual preparation before exercise/lesson:

The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Psalm 116:1 (ESV) 

There is a way of living in prayer at the same time that one is busy with the outward affairs of daily living. This practice of continuous prayer in the presence of God involves developing the habit of carrying on the mental life at two levels. At one level we are immersed in this world of time, of daily affairs. At the same time but at a deeper level of our minds, we are in active relation with the Eternal Life. Thomas Kelly, 1942[1]

Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal

#137  Teach Me to Stop and Listen

#135  Breathe on Me, Breath of God

#134  Be Still and Know


Materials for Art Responses

For Individual Art Response:

  • drawing paper
  • crayons, markers, or pastels
  • other supplies 

For Teacher-directed Activity:  3” x 11” strips of light colored paper, for Gratitude Chain


Take Home Notes (one per family)

Body Prayer instructions (PDF)

Note for children to take home after exercise/lesson or to email to parents during week prior to this lesson

Today we read Does God Hear My Prayer? by August Gold. We learned about talking to God and listening to God. We learned that we can have our own special friendship with God. Attached is a sheet with a Body Prayer to try at home. (Optional addition:  We practiced the body prayer together this morning.  OR We will practice the body prayer together during our First Day School lesson, assuming time is available.)

 



[1] Kelly, Thomas; Reality of the Spiritual World, Pendle Hill Pamphlet 21, 1941, p. 33